- The Legend lives on...
November 18, 1888, a legend was born at Muchukundapura in the Chitradurga
District of Karnataka - a legend whose life spanned a century, a legend
whose core of spirituality endowed him with the power to heal, a legend
whose scholastic prowess made thousands of people revere him as their
Guru, a legend known to the world as T Krishnamacharya.
Born to Srinivasa Tatacharya and
Ranganayakamma, T Krishnamacharya belonged to the Thirumalai family tree.
His lineage has been traced all the way to Nammazhwar, one of the greatest
of Vaishnavite saints.
With such a brilliant ancestry, it
is no wonder that T Krishnamacharya was so erudite a scholar. His expertise
in the ancient Vedic and Yoga texts, was incomparable.So much so that
even today he is acknowledged as the "Grandfather of Modern Yoga".
Krishnamacharya had his sacred thread
ceremony performed at the age of six when he was taught the Vedas, Sanskrit
grammar, the Amarakosha and other ancient texts. At the age of twelve,
he went to the Parakala Mutt in Mysore, where he studied at the Mysore
At eighteen, Krishnamacharya went
to Benares where he learnt some secret and very rare aspects of Sanskrit
grammar from Brahmasri Shiva Kumara Shastri. He also learnt the Mimamsa
from Brahmasri Trilinga Rama Shastri. He then returned to Mysore and studied
for three years under Brahmatantra Shri Krishna Brahmatantra Swami, head
of the Parakala Mutt.
1914, Krishnamacharya returned to Benares, where his hard work and determinaton
under the tutelage of Shri Vamacharana Bhattacharya helped him secure
a distinction in Nyaya and other branches of Indian philosophy. He also
got a scholarship to study Ayurveda under Vaidya Krishnakumar of Bengal.
had the rare honour of learning the ancient "Yoga Rahasya" directly
from his ancestor Shri Nathamuni. The "Yoga Rahasya" which is
a valuable treatise on Yoga, was believed to be lost. Thanks to the efforts
of T Krishnamacharya it is now available to us.
learnt Yoga from shri Babu Bhagwan Das, and passed the Sankhya Yoga Examination
of Patna. He then trekked to Manasarovar in the Himalayas where he learnt
Yoga, Yoga practice,Yoga therapy and the Yoga Sutras from Shri Ramamohana
Brahmachari. After seven and a half years in Manasarovar, Krishnamacharya
returned to Benares.
1926, Shri Krishnarajendra Wodeyar IV, the then Maharajah of Mysore, requested
Krishnamacharya to teach him and his family Yoga. Krishnamacharya also
taught many dignitaries, the elite and foreigners. At the behest of the
Maharajah, Krishnamacharya started the Yogashala at the Jaganmohan Palace,
Mysore and managed it for twenty years. As political unrest grew during
India's fight for independence, the Yogashala was closed. Krishnamacharya
accepted the invitation of his sishyas and settled down in Madras.
By the age of 100, Krishnamacharya's
name was considered synonymous with Yoga. He dedicated his life to carrying
forth the message of the immense healing potential of Yoga. What he focused
on was the adaptation and application of the ancient discipline of Yoga
to contemporary lifestyles, thereby enhancing health, longevity and quality
More than just an expert on Yoga,
Krishnamacharya was a linguist and well versed in the Veda-s, Upanisads,
Ayurveda, astrology, religion and Carnatic music.
As a teacher his principle was, "
Teach what is inside you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as
it applies to the other". His skill of diagnosis and treatment of ailments
and his extraordinary Yogic powers were noteworthy.
T. Krishnamacharya's knowledge of
Yoga was so extensive that he taught each individual differently. He strongly
believed that Yoga should be adapted to the individual, never the individual
to Yoga. For this reason, each of his students saw a different teacher
in him. While he taught many people until his death at 101, he belonged
to no one. In refusing to standardize the practice
and teaching methodology, he created an understanding of Yoga relevant
for a broad spectrum of students.
Krishnamacharya's genius lay in his
ability to forge a bridge between the knowledge and wisdom of Yoga and
other Indian philosophies and the changing values of modern lifestyles.
By incorporating rather than rejecting ancient wisdom, Krishnamacharya
created Yoga practices that are as accurate and powerful as they are relevant
Krishnamacharya has left behind an
invaluable legacy, a legacy that is of special significance in these times
of violence, strife and stressful living.
Carrying forth in his footsteps, holding
aloft the banner of this great Acharya and his timeless legacy is the
Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram.